August 13, 2008

Horse-injury problems have cut short the Olympic ambitions of Brazilian Dressage competitor Rogerio Clementino, and event riders Peter Flarup from Denmark and Viktoria Carlerback of Sweden.

Clementino never even got to the starting-gate as his grey Lusitano stallion, Nilo VO, was re-examined by the veterinary team on Monday and declared too unsound to compete, to the deep disappointment of the 26-year who was really looking forward to being the first African-Brazilian to ride in equestrian Olympic competition. And this also puts paid to the chances of the Brazilian Dressage team as they already had only three riders.

Peter Flarup and Silver Ray rocketed up from 45th place after dressage to 20th place after Monday's thrilling cross-country day at Beas River in which they enjoyed a fantastic cruise around the track, but there were concerns about a front leg later in the day. Following examination it was decided that the horse should be withdrawn. "It's nothing serious and he might have been OK to jump today, but I'm not prepared to take the risk - he is too important to me," the said yesterday.

Carlerback also enjoyed her cross-country run on Monday with Bally's Geronimo, but it was confirmed that her horse had a tendon injury from which he is expected to recover within a few months. The Swedish team earlier lost the services of Magnus Gallerdal's Keymaster who is reported to be recovering after surgery performed at the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Veterinary Hospital which is located close by the equestrian Olympic core venue at Sha Tin.

After the eventing cross-country, all 57 horses presented at the final veterinary inspection were passed fit to compete by the Ground Jury.